By the way ... Sweet taste of temptation
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I gave in to temptation recently. I just could not help it. In my defense, it’s a sweet temptation — a generous slice of red velvet cake.
On my way home in a taxi, I could already taste its sweetness. I could not help smiling when looking into the cake’s box while pretending to forget my promise to keep my health in check.
But traffic was not on my side. I was stuck in an afternoon traffic jam that made time move so slow, allowing my conscience to take over. It was at that time I spotted two boys begging in an intersection, knocking on passing cars’ doors for money.
I decided the cake would do these boys more good than me, so with a big smile, I rolled down the taxi’s window and took out the box, giving it to the boys just before they knocked on my taxi’s window.
One of them took the box and together, they peeked inside. To my surprise, they did not seem interested with what they saw inside.
“Can you just give us cash?” one of the boys said flatly while toying with the box.
Not even a thank you. I was speechless, but before I could say anything, my taxi inched forward as the traffic light turned green.
Jokingly, a colleague said they would probably need cash for something else, like hair coloring, to spice up their looks. Well, I thought that giving food instead of cash would be more helpful, but I guess I was wrong.
Listening to my heart recently landed me with another problem.
After eight hours of a sleepless flight from home to Sydney and another four hours waiting for my connecting flight to Cairns, I was so sleepy that I would not even have recognized Robert Downey Jr. if he had passed right in front of me.
But when a boy as young as three years old, took the seat next to mine, I was awake. The boy could not sit with his father, whose seat was further back.
Again, my conscience took over. I called up the man and gave up my seat so he could take care of his son during the four-hour flight.
I felt good, thinking I was doing something good. It’s true what people say — doing a good thing can make you feel better.
But just after I moved in to my new seat, I realized that I left my laptop on my old seat’s front pocket.
I rushed back only to find the man, who now sat comfortably with his son, innocently told me he had given my laptop to the stewardess, thinking that it might belong to a previous passenger.
At that point, I was really angry. He could have asked me first, since I was the one sitting there before him. I gave up my seat so he could sit with his son. But he just listened to my outburst.
The stewardess, who listened to what happened, bluntly said it was so stupid for the man to not ask me first about the laptop. “It should have been the first thing that came to his mind. And you gave up your seat for him. What a man,” she said.
I blamed my conscience. My laptop was taken off the plane and stayed in Sydney, while I needed it to work.
The airline staff on my flight assured me my laptop would be shipped to Cairns on board the next flight and had informed the ground staff of what happened. I felt a bit relieved, but again, it’s too early to say.
My fears turned out to be true. My laptop was not on the next flight and the baggage handler, who had earlier assured me of the same-day shipment was not around, while his replacement had never heard of a missing laptop.
I felt so stupid and promised myself to stop listening to my conscience.
With not much hope to get my laptop back in time for work, I called the airport’s baggage service section again and again.
It was during my many calls that a Cairns Airport baggage staffer, who asked me to call him Phil, worked his magic — calling up his friend in Sydney to locate my laptop.
When I called two hours later as instructed, I heard him say: “It’s pink, right, your laptop? Give me your hotel’s address and we’ll deliver it to your hotel right away.” And he did.
I felt like giving him a big hug. After all, following my conscience does not put me in harm’s way.
— Stevie Emilia